Friday, January 29, 2010

Photo of the Day

Oh, how I love stasis…Stasis2

Especially when an opponent does not spread out his tanks.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Celebrating defeat

Sometimes I feel that I suck more than others. Like lately I have lost a lot. I think I was like 24-22 on iccup and now I am 25-34. Sigh.

Some of it I can blame on encountering multiple 270 APM players with a record like 13-1, but most of it is just me not being good enough. Last season I mostly played against Terrans and developed a certain comfort in this match-up.

Against Terrans:
I almost always go 10/15 gate timing it so that I have dark templars out right after my 3rd or 5th dragoon. I don’t always know why I go with one over the other. I rarely win outright with the dragoons, but sometimes the dark templars will give me a free win. Recently I have started going straight for arbiters on just two bases. So far with decent results (I still lose, but hey… it is because I am bad).

Against Zerg:
I usually do a fast expand. I’ve learned that you need to cut probes around 15 supply to get enough canons and tech up in time. I havn’t been doing too great against zerg so far, but I mainly think I have issues of timing my build correctly. If I can secure my 3rd base and make it to the late game I win.

Against Protoss:
I used to two gate into robotics facility a lot, but I simply love the easy victory a 4-gate build sometimes gives me. Unfortunately that build tends to hand me some stupid loses too. Like when my opponent decides to do a 2 gate zealot opening and is very aggressive.

All these openings works great on Neo Medusa, which is map-of-the-week this week. It should offer me some opportunities. So far it has mostly given me loses :-)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

TV to make a Nerd Happy

So I was totally geeking out last weekend. I had hooked my laptop up to the TV and was watching TSL live (or as live as it was). Nerd heaven!

The games were reasonably good and will probably only get better as the tournament goes on. And I like the commentators, even if I don’t quite agree on everything they say.


I may suck at the game, but it is absolutely not true that the level shown here is anywhere near the level in Korea. It may be more unpredictable due to less uniformity in strategy and nerves of people not used to playing in tournaments, but you rarely see Koreans completely screw up like we sometimes see among foreigners.

All in all the entertainment was still great. I only wish I some of my friends appreciated Starcraft enough for me to invite them over for Starcraft-on-TV and a beer. Alas Starcraft is still a minor thing here.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Value of Prepositioning your units

I suck at the game. I suck at macro, I suck at micro and I suck at keeping up my motivation. This season I have abandoned last season strategy on staying on one map and one match-up. I’m just playing on the most familiar Map of the Week against anyone about my own level.

Amazingly enough I seem to do best in Protoss vs Protoss and not against Terrans. Is all the effort I put into that match-up last season totally wasted? I don’t know.

Some days ago I played this game where the opening did not go as well as I had hoped. He had his expansion up earlier than me, his tech-level was further ahead and yet I did not have an overwhelming unit advantage as I should have. So what do you do?

My 14 dragoons and 1 zealot was outside his base and (as I later found out) he had 13 dragoons and one photon canon. Even odds and with him having shorter distance to his reinforcements an all but lost battle.

So I thought: let me arrange my units in this nice semi-circle in front of his expansion. After all, that is what the pros do. Shortly after being done with that he moved out slightly and I decided to meet him in battle.

To my utter surprise it went extremely well. His units came out in a line and were attacked from all side my my units. His army melted away. In fact he lost everything he had and my casualties were just 4 dragoons and my zealot.

After that engagement I simply killed him of in a matter of a minute or two. And the game provided an object lesson of how much prepositioning of units can mean. A lot. Apparently.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


A reader of this blog sent me a replay link on twitter. I’ve just finished watching it. It’s pretty entertaining without being very good. What surprised me the most was how high everybody’s APM was despite the ton of mistakes made. For instance BeJedi had an effective APM of about 120 without using hotkeys much and in fact most of his actions were move, rather than select? So different from my own style of playing.Stasis

There are certain highlights of the game though. A Protoss+Terran vs. Dual Protoss  tends to be nothing but dragoons and psi-storm. Not so here. Instead  Avisek makes one attack after another with tons of dragoons just to have everything stasised! It is so ridiculous. The game could probably have ended sooner if not for the number of mind controls used at the end too!

But I have some advice to give as well:

  • Make more probes! Avisek was the only one having prober probe saturation in his mine fields.
  • Stasis, zealots and mind control are fun, but mass dragoons and psi-storm win this matchup.
  • Recall is less useful than stasis in this matchup. I think you found out during the game.
  • Hotkeys, they are your friends. So is a lot of gateways. I usually get at least three gates per base. When I max out at 200/200 I get more.

And keep playing. It is always fun when someone else joins in the quest to master the game of Starcraft.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Bugged Replay

I was about to write a post about a Protoss vs Zerg game on Collosseum I played recently. I loaded up Starcraft prepared to take notes and screenshots from the game. But that was no good. Everytime I the replay got to the 40 second mark, my computer froze and I had to kill Starcraft with the Windows Task Manager.

So no screenshots this time around. Basically the game was a standard fast expand. It is hard to figure out your opponents build on Collosseum, so I had to do a forge and 2 cannons before my first nexus. Just to be sure. I have gambled too many time on that map and lost to a fast pool build and concluded that the canons are necessary.

So the problem is: You make your first gate way as fast as you can after the nexus. You need to produce at least two zealots to block the gaps in the wall-in and while making those I also start the cybernetics core. Once that finishes I make a Stargate, a Citadel of Adun and probably a couple of more canons.

This is point is where I become most vulnerable to mutalisks or a hydra break. If I think he will go for hydras I need more canons at the front; if not I need them inside the base. At the same time my economy is really starting to be strong, but I have still only one gateway.

In this game I wanted to show here, I suspect that if my build had been timed slightly better, I could have produced 2 or 3 more gateways that would have been done right before his attack arrived. I ended up making a ton of money while watching my bases being torn down.

In this the second game in R2 of TSL2 of Avi-Love vs. Kabel, I see that around 15 probes, Kabel stops making more probes for a while. I don’t like cutting probes, but I assume that it makes the gateway go up faster. Maybe even by a lot? Is it really worth it? Cutting probes early in the game tends to lead to huge disadvantages later in the game.